March 18, 2020
The Senate passed a multibillion-dollar emergency aid package today that will provide paid sick and family leave for many Americans. It is now on its way to the White House for President Trump’s signature. The second phase of legislation from Congress will address the impacts of the virus on Americans and the economy.
Here is what is in the bill:
- Offer two weeks of paid sick and family leave to many American workers who are in quarantine, helping a family member with COVID-19 or who have children whose schools have closed. Workers will get 100% of their normal salary.
- A total of 12 weeks of paid leave to many of those who have children whose schools have closed. Workers would get about 67% of their normal salary for this period.
- Bolsters unemployment insurance
- Free testing for the coronavirus for those who need it
- Boosts food assistance (SNAP) and federal funding for Medicaid
Now a third Congressional stimulus package is in the works. It is expected that package will address the needs of small businesses and offer cash assistances to Americans. In addition, there are proposals for additional paid leave, help for the healthcare industry and relief for the airline and cruise industries.
The Senate does not plan to leave Washington until the third bill is passed. Many are optimistic that this will happen this week or next.